Key elements of context
In 2010, the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) published a report showing that the Mozambican parliament was the most closed among Mozambican Government institutions. The report cited a number of issues that plagued the relationships between the media and parliament. These included:
- Journalists’ lack of organised representation within parliament.
- A lack of established codes of conduct; and the different expectations of the media and parliament.
- The difficulty in accessing sources of information from within Parliament and Parliament’s lack of accountability to citizens.
- Journalists’ lack of basic understanding of parliamentary rules and procedures resulting in them often wrongly reporting on legislation.
- Lack of gender equality in the media profession.
- Suspicion between the parliament and journalists, resulting in a growing distance between the two.
- The appearance of preferred journalists from state media gaining greater access to parliament.
- The lack of adequate freedom of information legislation to support investigative journalism and oversight of the government.
In light of the report, TWC worked with Mozambican parliamentary journalists and parliament to set up a network that would enable increased openness to parliament as well as increased understanding of parliamentary processes.